If there’s one inevitable happening in our life that scares most people, it would probably be aging. The conventional wisdom is that aging limits the range of activities that we can do. But little did we know that even if we can’t truly stop it, we can at least somehow delay it. You already know how crucial physical fitness is for your health, but you may not realize the amazing benefits of stretching as we age! Stretching not only helps with physical flexibility and recovery from injuries but it also has great mental health.
What effects does aging have on our bodies?
Have you noticed that your shoulders, hips, or knees aren’t moving as well as they once did? Because of changes in connective tissue, arthritis, muscle mass loss, and other factors, your range of motion – the complete mobility capability of a joint – declines as you age.
Another sign of aging is a loss of strength. This is called sarcopenia – the decrease of muscle mass and function as we age. Several causes contribute to this loss of muscle mass, including hormonal changes, decrease in physical activities, and unbalanced diet.
Stretching as an important component of an aging battle.
- Improves flexibility: As we age, our muscles and joints become less flexible, making movement and daily activities more challenging. Stretching on a regular basis can assist improve flexibility and range of motion, making it simpler to complete daily chores and maintain an active lifestyle.
- Improves posture: Poor posture is a prevalent concern among the elderly, and it can contribute to a variety of health problems. Stretching on a regular basis can help improve posture by extending tight muscles and promoting better alignment.
- Reduces stress: Stretching can help alleviate stress and tension in the body, which is beneficial to overall health and well-being. Chronic stress can harm both physical and mental health, so it’s critical to develop ways to manage stress as we age.
- Improves circulation: Stretching can assist improve blood flow and circulation, which is vital for keeping muscles and joints healthy.
Stretching activities you can do at home.
It’s not always simple to get out of bed in the morning. Some days, you may awaken with aches and pains and a sense of tension. Did you know that stretching on a regular basis can assist to develop flexibility and alleviate back pain? To get started, you can follow these simple routines to experience the amazing benefits of stretching.
- Side Stretch: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands clasped above your head. Gently bend to one side, experiencing a deep stretch along the side of your body. After a little pause, return to a straight posture. Repeat 8 to 10 times on each side.
- Hamstring stretch: Stand up straight and slowly bend one leg into a sitting position. Extend the opposite leg, pointing your toes towards the ceiling. Bend your hips forward to get a nice stretch along the back of your outstretched leg. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating with the opposite leg.
- Calf stretch: Step back on one leg, hands on a wall for support, and gradually push your heel towards the ground, experiencing a nice stretch along the back of your calf. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposing leg.
- Upper back stretch: Place your feet flat on the floor and sit on the edge of your bed. Reach forward, bending from your middle back, with your fingers interlocked. Stretch your arms up to shoulder level. Feel for a stretch between your shoulder blades. Maintain this stretch for 10 seconds.
Remember to do stretching safely! It is critical to begin cautiously and to practice these stretches at your own pace. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not extremely adaptable at first. Your flexibility should increase with regular practice.
Only stretch as far as you can without getting hurt. Stop immediately if you feel any sharp or shooting pain. If you have an injury, consult your doctor first so that they may offer a stretching practice that is specific to you. Start as early as now to experience the benefits of stretching!
Need some advice? Contact us at Contact Us | Five Journeys.